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Bears beat anti-bear bin at B.C. Wildlife Park

One of the grizzlies at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops celebrates victory over the remains of a bear bin on Thursday, May 19, 2016. Dawson and Knute regularly test garbage cans for manufacturers for their bear resistance.
May 20, 2016 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - In the battle between bears and garbage bins, bears have racked up another victory.

At the B.C. Wildlife Park the grizzly bears were presented with puzzle yesterday, May 19, in the form of a metal bin. The bin was developed by a company looking to advertise it as bear resistent, but this version didn’t last too long as one of the wildlife park's two grizzly bears pried open the metal lid in just over 10 minutes.

WildSafe B.C. coordinator Frank Ritcey says bears at the park test bins regularly, the two residentgGrizzly bears, Dawson and Knute, have only done it a couple times. This one was the first they'd seen that was bolted to a cement platform, though it didn't stay that way.

“The idea is that manufacturers send us their bins and we test them with the bears to ensure they are what we call bear resistant,” he says. “We’ve had units that have come here three times before they’ve actually passed.”

He says the program is the only one of its type in Canada that offers certification in bear resistance. Nothing, he notes, is bear proof, but containers that last an hour in the test are considered bear resistant.

The bears ability to crack the bin, which was intended to withstand bears, shows the need for Kamloops residents to follow the bylaw restricting when garbage is put out, Ritcey says.

“I know some people say ‘I leave my garbage out but I put a ratchet strap over it or I’ve got a bungie cord,’” he says. “That just doesn’t work.”

Conservation officer Kevin Van Damme says bears that come into communities and access unnatural foods return to that food source repeatedly. Bears that learn about the garbage as a food source are killed, he says, otherwise they pose a public safety concern.

The B.C. Wildlife Park's two young Grizzly bears Dawson and Knute argue over the garbage bin they are testing for its bear resistance on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
The B.C. Wildlife Park's two young Grizzly bears Dawson and Knute argue over the garbage bin they are testing for its bear resistance on Thursday, May 19, 2016.


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